Friday, May 16, 2008

MADEMOISELLE "COCO" CHANEL


We all know who she is and her deservable recognition has made a bold and lasting impression on many.The French Fashion Designer's full name was Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel and she was born in Samur, Southern France in 1883. Gabrielle adopted "CoCo" during a brief career as a singer in cafe's and concert halls between 1905-1908.



CoCo Chanel 1937


Despite the fact that Chanel did not have the breeding of the upper class, in 1912 she met the wealthy socialite, Arthur "Boy" Capel who helped her open her first hat shop in 1913. But her real break came in the early '20s during the Great Depression when Chanel, with the financial help of Capel, opened her first and now legendary shop at 31 rue Cambon. Her elegant designs revolutionalized fashion replacing the corset with comfort and casual elegance.


In 1922, she launched the fragrance Chanel No. 5, which remains popular to this day. Two years later Pierre Wertheiner became her partner (taking on 70% of the fragrance business), and reputedly her lover.Coco launched her signature cardigan jacket in 1925, and the following year matched its success with her little black dress. Both items continue to be a staple part of every Chanel collection.During World War II, Coco was a nurse, although her post-war popularity was greatly diminished by her affair with a Nazi officer during the conflict. However, she made her comeback in 1954, her style much unchanged, apart from the introduction of pea jackets and bell-bottoms for women.Coco Chanel worked until her death in 1971 at the age of 88.




A peek inside her Glamorous Paris Apartment:

Above: The exterior of Chanel’s Rue Cambon apartment








CoCo's Entrance to her apartment





The famous faceted mirrored spiral staircase that Chanel designed. It connected all four levels of her apartment and made it possible for her to stand in one spot and see what was happening on every floor.





Some interesting Facts about CoCo Chanel:


  • She was a Leo and collected lions.

  • Whenever she went to her apartment on Rue Cambon, there were orders to spray Chanel No. 5 around the stairway so her signature scent would greet her.

  • She decorated the sitting room with a suede beige sofa in a time when both suede and beige upholstery were unheard of. She was selective about who could actually sit on it.

  • After a fortune-teller told her that 5 was her lucky number, she named her perfume Chanel No. 5, and it made her millions.

  • She was the first designer to put her own name on a fragrance

  • The original No. 5 bottle was supposedly designed to mimic the shape of Place Vendome. Check out NotCot’s clever photoshopping that matches the dimensions of the bottle to the plaza.

  • When she pasted away, they found only three complete outfits in the closet of her Paris apartment.



Back to 2008:

Chanel Fall/Winter Fashion Show at Grand Palais:

The revolving Carousel - How great is this? This fashion show looks absolutely gorgeous. I wish I could of been there or any of them and I would've been happy. For more info about the
show click here- Karen Kooper.


















photos Courtesy of:
Designer's Block
Bellasugar
hooked on houses
Karen Kooper
Flickr

Also, for more on CoCo please visit
Material Girls website by clicking on their name and visit the April 2008 post.